The first thing that strikes you when you set foot inside the saloon of the Fairline Squadron 53 is that it smells right.
Bear with me on this. The smell is one of quality, of leather and wood, the sort of smell you would expect if you were to walk into a Bentley showroom. This sets the tone for an interior that, in terms of finish, is put together in the way that a Fairline should be.
It’s no secret that towards the end of the former Fairline regime, corners were being cut quite drastically – just read our report on the Squadron 48 from the January 2014 issue. There’s none of this on the 53 though – it’s all meticulously lacquered woods, diverse and rich textures and an air of quality that makes it feel a bit special.
The cabinet just aft of the lower helm encapsulates the new approach well. Its glossy lustre is bolstered by its design, which ignores the temptation to employ hard angles in an attempt to feel more contemporary and instead, sports soft curves and subtle fiddles.
Its fascia is a mix of leather panelling and stainless-steel highlighting, and it’s flanked by materials around the helm that blend soft-touch plastics with diamond-quilted leather that look and feel as classy as it gets.
It’s the same story in the cabins where the master suite bursts with thoughtful styling, including a woven leather bed head, chunky marble tops and eye-catching flourishes in places that usually go unnoticed, like the patterned marble inset with grippy tread in the shower tray.
This is a cabin that shares its layout (as indeed does the entire lower deck) with the Targa 53 sportscruiser except for one key improvement: headroom. The Squadron has 6ft 3in (1.92m) of clearance at the end of the bed and just under 6ft 1in (1.86m) around each side. It’s better – much better – than the Targa but still not quite as good as the Sunseeker Manhattan 52 or Absolute 52 Fly, both of which feel bigger all round.
Neither of them look as good as the Squadron, though. Because it isn’t so tall, it has far and away the most pleasing exterior lines, and Alberto Mancini has used some clever tricks to reduce the visual height even further. See how the windscreen and dark flybridge moulding blend into one another and those two dark stripes arc back from the windscreen surrounds aft to the radar tower. They’re all designed to trick the eye.
Watch the video and read the full report in the June 2017 issue of MBY.